Purpose of Inspection

Health and Safety Authority Inspectors carry out inspections across all work sectors and work activities which come under the Safety, Health and Welfare at Work Act 2005 (the 2005 Act) and the Chemicals Act 2008. Some work places are pre-selected for inspection from our data base, based on risk and their previous history with the Authority e.g. has a particular employer any outstanding enforcement actions due for compliance with, has this company reported a serious accident recently or was a complaint made to the Authority about them.

However most inspections are targeted at the high risk sectors such as construction, agriculture, forestry, manufacturing, mines, quarries, transport of dangerous goods by road, or the chemical sectors. These sectors are set out in our Annual Work Programme and each inspector picks the premises to be inspected based on their local knowledge.

Other inspections can be part of a campaign e.g. on manual handling, on slips, trips or falls or on compliance with the REACH Regulation. Approximately 5% of all visits are due to accident and/or complaint investigations.

The purpose of an inspection is to assist the Authority with carrying out its general functions under Section 34 of the 2005 Act or as a National Competent Authority under Section 8 of the Chemicals Act 2008.

What the Inspector Does

  • Enforce the relevant statutory provisions the Authority has the responsibility for enforcing
  • Monitor the level of implementation of and compliance with these requirements
  • Promote, encourage and advise employers, employees and other duty-holders in relation to their legal responsibilities
  • Promote and encourage measures aimed at the prevention of accidents, dangerous occurrences and personal injury at work.
  • Promote the safe use of chemicals so as to protect human health and the environment
  • Provide information and advice on matters relating to the items under inspection
  • Promote and encourage the implementation of best practice with regard to occupational safety and health and the safe use of chemicals.